Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Jazz very near you

The Towamencin-based websites All About Jazz and Jazz Near You are creating a network of affiliates around the world to host jazz house concerts.
 The house concerts concept has been very successful for the Xtreme Folk Scene and the Philadelphia Folksong Society because a house party is a super-intimate and casual environment to enjoy live music. Plus, you can talk to the musicians and get to know their music better. According to Ricci, there are already successful jazz house concert networks in Princeton, Baltimore and Seattle.
As if the idea of a jazz house concert all by itself wasn't the coolest, the Jazz Near You series debuts right here this Friday, Oct. 24, featuring The Jōst Project performing live at the home of the sites’ founder, Michael Ricci. Tickets are $15 a person (you can BYOB) and can be purchased here (it's an Eventbrite page) Once the ticket is purchased, the concert site address will be shared.
One of the band's specialties, Ricci said, is jazz arrangements of familiar '70s music. A quartet scaling back to a trio for this performance, might they be bold enough to take on "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin?

The Jost Project
"It's really about jazz musicians being able to make a living," Ricci said, noting that Chris' Jazz Cafe is still the only full-time jazz venue in Philadelphia.
All About Jazz gets 500,000 to 750,000 unique visitors each month. Jazz Near You launched two years ago; is a website, an e-blast with 170,000 subscribers, an IOS app and more; and can take you to concert calendars for 250 cities. 
Here's a 2011 story, with video, that I did on Ricci. Jazz Near You hadn't been launched yet at the time. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hooray for Jim Boggia!

One of my favorite people to talk music with is Reporter Circulation District Manager Gar Webb.
"Have you heard of  Jim Boggia?"
I knew he was a Philly singer/songwriter, who had recorded an eerily spot-on cover of "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't be Late)," but that was about it.
I was pushed to learn more after checking out this video.

Besides combining Springsteen's Phil Spectorian bombastic anthem (one of my wife's favorite songs of all time, by the way) with "Over the Rainbow" (a nod to the uke version made famous by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole) perhaps the other most impressive thing about this clip is there are NO dislikes by the extremely snarky, and often off-topic, users of YouTube.
Boggia co-wrote Jaci Velasquez's "Glory"  and has been one of those behind-the-scenes guys, writing commercial jingles, playing/touring with the likes of Juliana Hatfield, Amanda Marshall and Bernadette Peters, and occasionally getting plum song placements in a BlackBerry commercial ("Live the Proof") and ABC's "Men in Trees" ("Several Thousand").
Some of you might even remember the Philly local supergroup he was in with Scott Bricklin, Ben Arnold and Joseph Parsons called 4 Way Street.
It looks like his ukelele performances are what's getting him noticed ... and it looks like you just missed him at Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville.
But check for more, and don't miss him the next time he's anywhere in the area.